Google threatens YouTube MP3 ripping sites

At least two websites that offer the service of ripping audio files such as MP3s from YouTube videos have been contacted by Google, threatening "legal consequences," reports TorrentFreak. A violation of YouTube's API terms of service is the cited reason for the legal notice, for which the website owners were given seven days to comply.

The websites are YouTube-MP3.org and Music-Clips.net, both of which provide the service of a downloadable audio file for any given YouTube video. (Music-Clips.net offers audio file downloads in a variety of formats from several different video websites, while YouTube-MP3 offers a more streamlined experience with MP3s only.)

Websites such as these are very popular, especially with younger internet users. TorrentFreak conducted an informal survey of younger internet users and found that every single one had used some kind of YouTube conversion service to listen to music on their mobile devices. YouTube-MP3 claims that tens of millions of people have used its services, and estimates that roughly 200 million global users have used a service like it and Music-Clips. It seems that YouTube has become a huge alternative to file sharing websites for unauthorized music downloads. The music labels are not happy with this, unsurprisingly.

Google, which owns YouTube, is also not pleased with these websites, and claims that they are in violation of the terms of service for YouTube's API, though the owner of YouTube-MP3 claims that his website does not use the API to pull YouTube videos. A copy of the letter, written by Associate Product Counsel of YouTube Harris Cohen and sent to Music-Clips, was shared with TorrentFreak.


Credit: TorrentFreak, Music-Clips

Of course, taking down all such websites will be quite the task, even for Google. YouTube-MP3 and Music-Clips are just two examples of dozens of alternatives that all provide similar services. YouTube-MP3, for its part, has refused to close its service and has demanded to speak directly to a representative of YouTube or Google.

Source: TorrentFreak, YouTube-MP3

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55 Comments

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As if mp3 didn't have bad enough sound quality now people are ripping off even lower quality audio on youtube?

Gees kids just shove a pencil in both ears and jam it in until you bleed. All this great technology just to keep going backwards in sound quality.

how's this different from google stealing content from IP holders to display ads?

don't like a taste of your own medicine google?

I don't think Google really cares, as they only seem to react to stuff like this when they're pressured, in this case by the record industry. They could stop a massive amount of piracy if they really wanted to.

Anyway, you can always just download the video and rip the audio to MP3 using one of the many fast, easy-to-use and free software available. Freemake makes some good stuff.

Whenever there's money involved businesses will use lawyers to defend their profit margin. These third-party websites are the equivalent of VCRs or DVRs. The reality is that most people won't use such tools to rip content as the YouTube website adds value and convenience to content through recommendations and personalised feeds.

As always, the way to combat these services is to offer a better service that can't be found elsewhere.

Tbh half the time even with a piece of software and not a website, the quality of the audio it rips is blooming awful. I,ll admit Ive used these sites to grab rare and un-released tracks to DJ with, but as Ive said 7 times out of 10 the quality of them is horiffic.

So you can upload anything you want to Youtube breaking copyright, but attempting to make a copy after that point is a big problem????

trip21 said,
So you can upload anything you want to Youtube breaking copyright, but attempting to make a copy after that point is a big problem????

Youtube has a system inplace where content is scanned and if it is determined that it contains copywritten content it can either be deleted, or ad revenue from it can be shared with the actual copyright owner, thanks to some deals made with labels and studios, which is also likely why they are sending these C&D orders

OMG would they please leave youtube-mp3 alone damnit!! I use it for something every once in a while but there are programs that do this and I don't see them fighting them!

Or the ability to record playing music from the computer speakers to my cell phone using a Droid app called "Voice Recorder" that's included by default?

Oops.

I laugh at the morons that are trying to prevent all this.

MtnDewCodeRedFreak said,
Or the ability to record playing music from the computer speakers to my cell phone using a Droid app called "Voice Recorder" that's included by default?

Even better, set the recording device on your computer to stereo mix and have it duplicate and store the output signal No quality loss from the original video.
Stereo mix+hypercam=win

I prefer to download from YouTube instead of playing something over and over and over again.

I probably save 50 GBs a month both on YouTubes side and my side.

ShareShiz said,
I prefer to download from YouTube instead of playing something over and over and over again.

I probably save 50 GBs a month both on YouTubes side and my side.

Doesnt make it right
AFAIK they cant tell the difference as 9 times out of 10 to get the actual link you have to open the url for the video before pasting into the "youtube downloader"

I can't believe they will take from me the possibility to rip crappy 128kbps audio from YouTube videos!...

No seriously... you download music by ripping it from YouTube videos? Shame on you!

rfirth said,
HTTP GET is part of the YouTube API?

Ever since Google bought Youtube, it kind of is. Google did invent the internet, after all!

The Teej said,

Ever since Google bought Youtube, it kind of is. Google did invent the internet, after all!

I thought it was Al Gore?

Google don't own the rights for the content either. It is all BS. They are probably loosing add revenue so they are threatening the sites. Of course if the sites abuse the API terms then how do they go about copying the content.

addon (youtube downloader or something)
download 720p/1080p/etc
convert to mp3 or whatever using a converter such as avs converter.e..
etc

.air said,
addon (youtube downloader or something)
download 720p/1080p/etc
convert to mp3 or whatever using a converter such as avs converter.e..
etc

That's a lot to download, 100mb + for a video to turn it into a song.

ccoltmanm said,

That's a lot to download, 100mb + for a video to turn it into a song.

What, is your hard drive bursting or something?

.air said,
addon (youtube downloader or something)
download 720p/1080p/etc
convert to mp3 or whatever using a converter such as avs converter.e..
etc

1. Download
2. copy the mp4 audio stream
3. play

mp4 audio is better sounding...mp3 is dead.

MrXXIV said,
Nobody cares Google. We can get the same things, but better, everywhere else.

But as Mr Nom Nom's points out above, they likely have a legal obligation to act this way

Sraf said,

But as Mr Nom Nom's points out above, they likely have a legal obligation to act this way

True. But talking won't do anything. Even if they manage to stop it. It'll end up coming right back like an infestation.

MrXXIV said,

True. But talking won't do anything. Even if they manage to stop it. It'll end up coming right back like an infestation.

Yup, and I'm sure Google is well aware of the futility of it

remixedcat said,
it's crap quality and barely listenable anyways.

I keep saying that, but all my friends keep using it. They then burn it to CD's and force me to listen to it in their cars. It's almost like torture. You can hear the lack of bits.

Ambroos said,

I keep saying that, but all my friends keep using it. They then burn it to CD's and force me to listen to it in their cars. It's almost like torture. You can hear the lack of bits.

Yep, been there. 720p music videos and above only are above the bearable level of quality for me - 480p and below ripped music is just awful!

Ambroos said,

I keep saying that, but all my friends keep using it. They then burn it to CD's and force me to listen to it in their cars. It's almost like torture. You can hear the lack of bits.

You need better friends for two reasons:

1) CDs? Really? 1996 called, they want their technology back.
2) If people were only smart enough to know what bitrate was. Even copy music and wrapping a 320 kbs container on it doesn't improve it.

Most of my friends are guilty of #2 (which is why their MP3 collection sounds like a #2). And when they don't copy it, they stream their music form YouTube on their mobile phones. Then they wonder why their battery life is ka ka.

NightCrawlerInfinity said,

And when they don't copy it, they stream their music form YouTube on their mobile phones. Then they wonder why their battery life is ka ka.

Looks like you need to introduce them to the HTML5 Grooveshark mobile site (http://html5.grooveshark.com) or Spotify Premium!

Ambroos said,

I keep saying that, but all my friends keep using it. They then burn it to CD's and force me to listen to it in their cars. It's almost like torture. You can hear the lack of bits.

I'm... I'm so sorry man. I'm so sorry...

One thing to remember is who the motivating force behind all of this is - Google is merely doing what they need to do as to ensure that the copyright holders such as Viacom don't jump down their necks again and try to extort money out of them. The real long term solution is copyright and patent (yes, I know this isn't related to patents but the two do go hand 'n hand when it comes to protecting IP) reform but it seems that politicians are more interested in pass laws relating to transvaginal ultrasound as to 'stop the evil abortions' than focusing on real issues that impact the real economy.

Breakthrough said,
Just my two cents, but how is this different from me recording what's playing back through my speakers while I watch Youtube videos?

Revenue

Dinggus said,

YouTube-mp3 doesn't have any ads, so how are they getting revenue?

You misunderstand, Google, and right owners, get ad revenue when you watch content on Youtube, if you download that to watch or listen offline, they do not get this revenue

Sraf said,

You misunderstand, Google, and right owners, get ad revenue when you watch content on Youtube, if you download that to watch or listen offline, they do not get this revenue

What is why the OP stated "Just my two cents, but how is this different from me recording what's playing back through my speakers while I watch Youtube videos?"

They don't get revenue either way, so why go after these sites? They can just as easily grab a mic and turn it into an MP3 that way. Just like cassettes and the radio used to be.

farmeunit said,

What is why the OP stated "Just my two cents, but how is this different from me recording what's playing back through my speakers while I watch Youtube videos?"

They don't get revenue either way, so why go after these sites? They can just as easily grab a mic and turn it into an MP3 that way. Just like cassettes and the radio used to be.

In that regard, you're preaching to the choir, but I feel as if Google's hand is being forced here, as they likely are also fully aware of the futility of this

Breakthrough said,
Just my two cents, but how is this different from me recording what's playing back through my speakers while I watch Youtube videos?

This statement made me laugh. Great job reading the article. The difference is misuse of API.